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GREMLINS IN THE SYSTEM...


A frustrating day. Drove over to Fairview studio near Hull to transfer tracks from my various digital tapes to Fairview's computer for the purpose of assembling the triple album 'Auditoria' for mastering prior to manufacture. As always, mastering engineer John Spence was present, despite him nursing a terribly painful knee, (waiting for a knee replacement operation,) to deal with the material I was taking for him to master.

Everything went well for the first few tracks. Copying from my DAT tapes to Fairview's mastering computer went without a hitch. Then the gremlins struck. Fairview's DAT machine decided to chew up one of my DAT cassettes, jamming it in the machine and unspooling the tape inside it. Attempts to remove the DAT cassette from the machine's tray proved futile and we had to abandon further attempts to copy tracks from the tape to Fairview's computer.

Luckily, I had burned the tracks for the album to three CDRs when I was preparing a draft assembly to decide the final running order of the album. I'd taken these CDRs with me to Fairview as a backup, just in case there might be any problems with the DAT tapes.

So, we then continued to transfer the tracks from the CDRs, one by one, to Fairview's computer. Until, in the middle of the second CDR, we encountered another gremlin.

Two of the tracks destined for the second disc in the set wouldn't play back. Trying the disc in different CD players didn't improve matters either.

The situation at the moment is this: John is going to drop the malfunctioning DAT machine off with Keith, the owner of the studio and its resident boffin, to take the player apart and hopefully free the DAT cassette from its locked confines. It may, of course, have been damaged beyond repair, in which case an entire DAT tape of my mixes will be lost forever. But, fingers crossed, perhaps some tracks at least, may be saved.

As for the two tracks from my CDR that are not responding to attempts to play back...well, we'll have to see if there is any way to recreate them. I may have to make two brand new recordings to take the place of the two that we appear to have lost. In which case, more work for me...A very frustrating day, in more ways than one...

Technology isn't always what it's cracked up to be...



© Bill Nelson 2020

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